Over the last two weeks, we have revealed the Rotten truth at 'Sunny Farm'. This 'megafarm' imprisons almost half a million birds and is owned by East Anglia's leading egg producer, Bird Bros. You will have already seen the deplorable conditions these beautiful hens are kept in and the suffering they endure, packed 60 to a cage.
Animal Justice Project's Founder and Director, Claire, and our Campaigns Manager, Ayrton, visited the farm, and saw what can only be described as a hellish nightmare. The scale of the farm was undeniable, with shed after shed filled with innocent birds who will have never seen daylight and never will. The gigantic sheds are primarily automated, with artificial lighting and automated feeding and water systems. The noise from this machinery alone was overwhelming when entering the shed. The distressed noises of thousands of birds crammed inside a single building were thunderous and created an uneasy atmosphere, one that we could never imagine being able to find a moment of peace or quiet in. It must be inordinately distressing for hens to be trapped in this environment with no escape.
The smell was unforgettable. We had to wear face masks between talking to the camera because of the sheer volume of dust and dirt particles in the air. The hens are forced to breathe this in every day, never being able to experience fresh air. There were bags and bags of dead hens inside the shed and smashed eggs all over the floor. It was like a scene from a horror movie.
It was painful to see so many distressed hens locked in cages, unable to help them. We have spent a lot of time around birds who are free to express themselves and who have autonomy over their day-to-day routines, but we were met with tens of thousands of individuals who would never know such freedoms. How can any farmer enter a shed like this and believe what they do is 'humane', let alone ethical?
We wish we could tell you that these birds are now safe and will have a happy future, but we can only act within legal parameters as a charity. All of our undercover work is legal, allowing us to expose more farms and tell the stories of those who are confined within these violent systems. The reality is that there are 40 million laying hens in the UK, and we need to tackle the industry to start closing down these hellholes.
Our latest undercover investigation is part one of an industry-wide exposé as we aim to show that the entire egg industry is rotten to the core.
Through our undercover work and your dedicated generosity, we can continue showing consumers that, despite the clever marketing and industry propaganda, the eggs they buy in supermarkets or farm shops are far from cruelty-free.
For the animals.